The ongoing bias toward inclusion of genomes from European-ancestry individuals in genomics research is well-characterized.
Underrepresentation of genomes from individuals of diverse ancestries results in uncertainty about what constitutes benign and disease-causing genetic variation, leading toa higher rate of inconclusive results from clinical genetic testing and risk prediction models (e.g., polygenic risk scores) that do not transfer across genetic ancestries. Without a genetic diagnosis, access to high-risk surveillance, risk-reducing surgeries, cascade testing for relatives and even clinical trials is restricted, often in populations who are already under-referred to genetics services. Such exclusions reinforce inequities in health outcomes. As genomics is increasingly used in research and translated into clinical care, it is of urgent importance to promote equity in all aspects of genomics research to prevent genomic technologies from further exacerbating existing health disparities. To advance equity in genomic research, we will identify barriers and solutions to conducting equitable genomics research through qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, including racialized community members and genomics researchers. This study will represent a significant advance in personalized health by providing important information that can be used to develop a practical guide of best practices for conducting equitable genomics research.
Each year, I admit MSc and PhD students for interdisciplinary research investigating the impacts of adopting new genomic technologies in clinical care.
This research calls on the following methods: qualitative interviewing, surveys, clinical trials, behavioural and psychological outcomes, health technology assessment, health economics, patient engagement, deliberative democracy, mixed methods analysis. Interested candidates should email a CV, unofficial transcripts, and a brief research proposal (max 1 page). Candidates are strongly encouraged to google advice for effective proposal drafting. A strong introductory email is a great first step towards graduate school admission.
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